Mario Rubalcaba (EARTHLESS) on Rock Overdose: “I love playing and seeing new cities and meeting new fans”

Earthless are returning to Athens next month and what better occasion for an in depth talk with drummer Mario Rubalcaba regarding the band's present and future plans:

Rock Overdose: Hello and welcome to Rock Overdose! How are Earthless feeling these days?

Mario Rubalcaba: Hello! thx for having me (Mario) we are feeling great! We have had the busiest year ever for the band and have been having a great time with it.



Rock Overdose: Since the release of “Black Heaven” you've been touring heavily. Europe, North America, Australia, South America, now Europe again. Don't you ever get frustrated with being constantly on tour?

Mario Rubalcaba: Yes, It's the most busy we have been in the history of the band! Hmmm... I don't get frustrated with touring but I get tired of airports, train stations and bus depots. I don't mind traveling or driving even, it's the hell that is people at these places and the lines and all that kinda stuff that gets old quickly. I love playing and seeing new cities and meeting new fans. Love it.



Rock Overdose: I read that you are going to be a part of “Best Of Black Sabbath Redux”. How did this come about, what song are you covering and why did you choose this particular one?

Mario Rubalcaba: Our buddy who runs the label had us on his Hendrix comp a couple years ago and asked us to be on the Sabbath comp. It was a no brainer to say yes. Not sure what song as of yet as we have some time to decide but should be fun to do!

Rock Overdose: You've signed an agreement with Nuclear Blast, primarily a metal label. Although Earthless makes heavy music, I wouldn't go as far as calling you “metal”. Does it feel weird being in the same roster with -let's say- Dimmu Borgir? Were you at all hesitant when you first learned about their interest in signing you?

Mario Rubalcaba: No wildness at all because they also have other acts such as Discharge and agnostic Front, Slayer and Exodus- some of my all time fave bands on there. Easy and great company/label to be hooked up with! Variety is nice.



Rock Overdose: For years you've been a strictly instrumental band. Fast forward to 2018, you put out “Black Heaven” and it has vocals, lots of them! Did you feel it was time to shake things up a bit or was it more a case of the music “demanding” vocals? Who wrote the lyrics?

Mario Rubalcaba: We have used vocals before but mostly for 7" collaboration or a cover here and there. Never before on a lp. It just sorta naturally went this way for some reason and we went for it. Ended up with 4 vocal songs! Isaiah wrote all the lyrics and sang them all.

Rock Overdose: Why did you think “Black Heaven” turned out the way it did? Shorter tracks, vocals, overall more straightforward. Did you do anything different this time around or was it “standard procedure” writing and recording it?

Mario Rubalcaba: Well the writing process was different in that we don't all live int the same city anymore so we had to be more decisive on time to jam etc... Once we were in room we just start playing and thats where things just do it how they are gonna do it. We didn't feel like trying the same approach as "From The Ages" our previous album and this is what happened. We are happy with it though.



Rock Overdose: Shortly after, you released “From The West”. Why did you choose to put out a live album only months after your latest studio effort was released? “Black Heaven” is not a very live sounding record compared to your previous records. Having this in mind, do you feel that “From The West” is somewhat of a companion release to “Black Heaven”?

Mario Rubalcaba: Mainly because our buddy Ethan asked us to do it and it sounded fun. At this point all the other live albums we have done were of older jams and this would be the first to have all the newer songs and the live versions of them on it and that was a cool idea to do it this way. We didn't think of it as a companion though but I guess you can see it that way and its cool like that too.

Rock Overdose: “Volt Rush” has a really funny video. Who came up with the concept for that one? If I'm not mistaken, that was your first official video clip. Why did it take you so long?

Mario Rubalcaba: Our director BB Bastidas who is a buddy of ours came up with it. it probably took so long because our older stuff is so long that we just didn't want to take on such an enormous project of editing down the long jams for a video. Would be cool to do one for the long jams sometime though.



Rock Overdose: What does the near future hold for you? Either with Earthless or any other band/project you are involved with.

Mario Rubalcaba: A little bit of touring and then eventually start writing and getting ideas for another record!



Rock Overdose: Thank you for your time. Looking forward to your show here in Athens!

Mario Rubalcaba: Thank you!!!!